Electric car battery assembly

Automated battery production accelerates the sustainable transition

AFRY delivers scalable and intelligent production flows as electric cars gain market share

Increased efficiency in electric motor design contributes to reduced carbon emissions and lower production costs. The battery's function and manufacturing process are crucial components that require innovative technology to pave the way for a sustainable automotive industry in the future.

The transition from combustion engines to alternative drivelines is a significant change for our cars. The main challenges include improving battery capacity, optimising energy storage, expanding the network of charging stations, and designing our future vehicles. To drive development forward, advanced progress is required in the production of electric car batteries and battery packs, presenting both challenges and opportunities for the manufacturing industry.

AFRY is carrying out a comprehensive project for a leading Swedish car manufacturer, automating parts of the battery production process, saving both costs and time. We are responsible for the overall management of the project and deliver a fully automated solution for handling and partial assembly of battery pack components. With responsibility for robots, simulations, production design, and project management, we ensure a smooth and efficient production.

Automated production line enables electrification

Electric motors are significantly more efficient than combustion engines, converting a larger share of the supplied energy into propulsion. A combustion engine uses only about 5 percent of the energy for propulsion, while an electric motor uses up to 83 percent. This efficiency is crucial for the transition to more sustainable transport solutions.

To move forward and meet market demand, it is essential to develop new technologies for the automotive industry. AFRY is at the forefront, working closely with our customer to revolutionise their production of battery packs for electric cars. By introducing a fully automated production line, which includes adaptation, washing, and subassembly, we enable a more flexible and scalable manufacturing process. This process simplifies production and minimises the risk of errors.

white electric vehicle charging
The electric car is taking a prominent place in the automotive market, imposing demands on battery production.

Batteries and battery packs

The battery pack is usually located at the bottom of the electric car and consists of many individual battery cells. The most common batteries in modern electric vehicles are lithium-ion batteries due to their high energy density and long lifespan. The battery cells are arranged in modules, which are then assembled into a larger battery box, making it easier to manage and replace parts if necessary.

Electric car battery
The battery pack is a unit that contains batteries and is central to the electric vehicle's range, charging time, and overall performance.

Comprehensive solution enabled through close collaboration with Modig

Within the project, we are collaborating with Modig Machine Tool AB, which supplies machining equipment for aluminium used in the battery box.

Thanks to innovative manufacturing methods such as gigacasting, a technique that uses large, integrated cast parts instead of the traditional approach with many welded components, the assembly of the battery packs has been simplified and the cost reduced.

"Together with AFRY, we're enabling the automotive industry to transition its production to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles and battery boxes. The green transition requires innovative solutions, something Modig has always been at the forefront of. The collaboration with AFRY has been incredibly successful due to their extensive knowledge and experience in automotive automation, which has been crucial for this project," says David Modig, CEO at Modig.

The goal of the project is to enable a doubling of the production rate. This will simplify production as the demand for cars increases. Through this strategy, opportunities open up to expand manufacturing without being limited to a specific product, providing flexibility for future needs.

Modig Machine Tool

Scalable production crucial for future demand

A critical aspect of the customer's transition is to build scalable and flexible manufacturing capacity to quickly adapt to new drivelines. Tomas Bergman, responsible project manager from AFRY, emphasises the benefits of investing in flexible subsystems from the start, which allows for easier transition to comprehensive systems later. In close collaboration with the customer and Modig's facilities, we customise the entire chain from groundwork to final assembly, with a strong emphasis on the use of robotics to ensure efficiency and quality throughout the manufacturing process.

"The biggest challenge is making the production line flexible for future products, while we have to deal with a limited space. This requires us to use the latest tools and equipment in terms of processing, transporting, simulation, and scanning. A really enjoyable and challenging project where we, together with the customer, take yet another step into the green transition," says Tomas.

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Robert Fahlborg - Sales Manager, Advanced Manufacturing
Robert Fahlborg
Sales Manager, Advanced Manufacturing

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